Ericsson hits 500 Mbps in LTE carrier aggregation demo on live Cosmote Greece network

Ericsson said a demonstration of LTE carrier aggregation conducted on the live Cosmote Greece network is a first for Europe after data download rates hit 500 Mbps.

The demonstration took place at the Infocom World 2015 event in Athens on Thursday, and involved the aggregation of 20+20+10 MHz of the FDD mode of LTE together with 256 QAM modulation. Ericsson said the demonstration was the first in Europe using that combination in a live network, and that Cosmote has already begun upgrading its commercial network to utilise the technology mix.

"Technologies such as 256 QAM encoding and carrier aggregation are essential for delivering high-quality LTE experiences to subscribers in Greece and other markets around the world," explained Maurizio De Dominicis, head of Ericsson in Greece.

Ericsson employed its RBS 6000 radio equipment, LTE Advanced software, and carrier aggregation technology during the demonstration, which it said paves the way for Cosmote to further boost the performance of its network.

The infrastructure company explained that LTE carrier aggregation increases the bandwidth of the mobile network to deliver higher peak data rates and improvements to the user experience. It added that its 256 QAM downlink encoding technology delivers an improvement in downlink throughput of up to 33 per cent in good radio conditions.

Stefanos Theocharopoulos, chief technology and operations officer at OTE Group, said the demonstration highlights the operator's commitment to invest in innovations that will deliver "pioneering fixed and mobile telecommunications services" to its subscribers.

The demonstration also confirmed Cosmote's "technological superiority" and enables it to "make a difference for our customers," Theocharopoulos added.

Cosmote's existing LTE network currently covers close to 80 per cent of Greece's population. The operator launched an LTE Advanced network at the beginning of the year, which Ericsson said is already delivering download rates of up to 300 Mbps to customers in selected regions.

Ericsson also played a part in a first claimed by Vodafone in mid-November, after the operator trialled LTE carrier aggregation on a live network using licensed and unlicensed spectrum. The infrastructure company supplied its RBS 6402 small cell to the trial, which achieved a download rate of 274 Mbps.

For more:
- see this Ericsson announcement

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